At the end of last year, it was announced the Egan Dining Hall was going to undergo major renovation and as a returning student, I found that there are many positives and negatives to the new Grotto Commons.
Every ’Hurst student knows of the four main places of congregation: the Hammermill library, the Hermann Student Union, Garvey Park and the Egan Dining Hall. After hearing that one of these places was going to change, in name and atmosphere, I immediately became apprehensive.
When I first walked into the Grotto Commons, formerly known as Egan Dining Hall, I was immediately confused. I could not navigate through the new dining hall without a friend’s assistance and direction. I felt like I was trying to remember how Egan looked in relation to the Grotto Commons.
I will admit that it took some time to get used to the new setup I still find comfort in the fact that a lot of the workers, especially Rhonda, offer a friendly, familiar face.
One positive aspect of the Grotto Commons that I enjoyed was the amount of space and the different shaped tables. It is easier to find seating in the Grotto Commons than it was in Egan. Also, the new bar seating with the outlets are extremely convenient and offer seating to those who have to study while they eat.
The different tables and the placement definitely help with seating arrangements and overall comfort. All of my friends could easily sit at one table which was not possible before.
The new food stations are pretty much the same. I do not like is the proximity between the Bravo/Deli and the drink machine it is a congested area in terms of traffic.
According some of my peers, they agree that it did not reduce crowding or noise issues, but it is an interesting setup and something they can live with for the time they spend there.
I think that renovation as a whole was worth it and I do think that it is refreshing to see something super new at the ’Hurst. But I also think that there are still a few kinks in the Commons that need to be fixed in order for it to bean enjoyable place to patronize.
Even though the new Grotto Commons has many points that are not favorable, I found that the new dining hall shows that Mercyhurst is moving forward.